People who may not be able to attend a NASCAR race still could see first-hand a car that once was in races and now is being put on display around the country.
Chris Schiefer Insurance and Financial Services in Tiffin brought the 2009 Chevrolet Impala to Seneca County Fair Monday. Nationwide Insurance is sponsoring NASCAR Nationwide Series.
"You don't see show cars this nice," said Eric Palmer, show car representative for Nationwide.
Chris Schiefer, insurance agent, said he thought bringing the car to Tiffin would be a great way to promote the company and bring something to the city that many people never would have had the chance to see.
"It's been great," he said about how it had been received.
Schiefer said an agent must reserve it several months ahead of time. He said it was a thrill when he learned the car would be going to the fair about a month ago.
PHOTO BY JILL GOSCHE
Fair-goers look at the 2009 Chevrolet Impala on display on Seneca County Fair’s midway Monday afternoon.
Schiefer estimated up to 200 people had stopped by the display in the first hour.
In addition to looking at the car, fair-goers also could sit in a race simulator to see what it is like to drive a race car. People drove two qualifying laps in the simulator, which takes about two minutes.
"We have it set up for the Richmond racetrack," Palmer said.
Jessica Nicolls, 10, tried the simulator and said it was difficult to drive because she couldn't reach the pedal.
"(I'm) a little too small," she said.
Nicolls said it was like she actually was driving, and when she crashed, the seat shook. She said she crashed "quite a lot" and would run into the wall because she was going too fast.
"You got to drive by yourself," she said as a reason why the experience was fun.
Palmer takes the car around the country to Nationwide agents. The car cannot appear at events that are not sponsored by the company, he said.
"It's strictly just for their use and their use only," he said.
Palmer said the car appears at an average of 100 to 130 events each year, and the trailer averages 60,000 to 80,000 miles a year.
"You really get to see a lot of the country," he said.
Schiefer said the car was in Pittsburgh last week and at a Toledo Mud Hens game Sunday night.
A window was broken on the trailer because a ball sailed over the wall during batting practice and struck the trailer, which was parked on the street, he said.
The car was to head to Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway upon its departure from the fair.
"It's been really nice," Schiefer said of its Tiffin visit.